In the Bible Jabez is only mentioned one time. All we know about him is that his name means sorrow, he prayed for God to bless him, and God answered his prayer. Prayer is an important part of the Christian life and this lesson strives to teach kids that when they pray God hears them, just like he heard Jabez.
Lesson Title: The Prayer of Jabez
Bible Reference: 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Target Age Group: Preschool
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 1 hour
Lesson: Act Out The Prayer of Jabez
Before the Activity: No prep needed.
During the Activity: Invite the class to act out the story with you.
The Prayer of Jabez:
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
(1 Chronicles 4:9-10)
Say: There once was a man named Jabez. Jabez was very honorable. Honorable means that he always tried to do the right thing. I want everyone to stand up straight and tall just like Jabez might stand.
The name Jabez means pain. It probably made Jabez sad to know that his name had a sad meaning. Show me your best sad face.
Jabez prayed that God would bless him. Everyone kneel down and act like you are praying.
Jabez asked God to enlarge his territory. That means that he wanted to be successful in life so that he would have more opportunities to bring glory to God. Show me how big you can be since Jabez wanted his life to be big.
Jabez prayed that God’s hand would be with him. Jabez knew that he could not be successful on his own. He wanted God to put his hand on him and help him make good decisions and keep him safe. Give someone near you a high five.
Jabez asked God to keep him from harm so that he would be free from pain. Jabez’s name means pain and I don’t think he liked that because he wanted God to keep him away from any more pain. Show me a big smile because Jabez was happy to be away from pain.
Finally, Jabez was done praying. God heard his prayed and answered it. Jabez was blessed and God watched over him and kept him from pain. Let’s all clap and cheer because God is good and he answered Jabez’s prayer. God can answer your prayers too!
Activity: Enlarge our Territory Game
Before the Activity: Make a circle on the floor large enough for each child to stand on the edge. This could be made with chalk outside or tape inside. Gather enough beanbags for each child to have one.
During the activity: Have each child stand on the circle facing outward. Say, Jabez prayed that God would help him enlarge his territory so that he could share God’s blessings with other. Jabez’s land might have started out small like our circle, but God helped his land to grow. Let’s make our circle grow. Each child should throw their bean bag out of the circle as far as they can. Now, have everyone go and stand beside their beanbag. Say, Wow! Look how much bigger our circle is now! This is just like when God blessed Jabez and enlarged his territory. Throw the bean bags again and let the class see how much bigger the circle is now. Continue until you are out of space or the class loses interest.
Activity: God’s Hand with Me
Before the Activity: Each child will need construction paper, a crayon, and scissors. You will need magnets for the back of the hands. Optional: Glitter, beads, markers, etc. to decorate the hands.
During the Activity: Say, Jabez prayed that God’s hand would be with him always. Today, we are going to make a hand that you can put on your refrigerator. Every time you see it stop and pray that God will be with you just like he was with Jabez. Allow each child to trace their hand. Help them cut it out. Decorate however you would like. Stick a magnet on the back and make sure each child takes their hand home.
Activity: Keeping Jabez Safe
Before Class: Find several small action figures to be Jabez. Fill a sensory bin, or large waterproof box, with water, and water toys. In other part of the room, set out blocks. In other part of the room, set out a doctor kit.
During the activity: Divide the class into three groups. Send one group each to the water sensory bin, blocks, and doctor kit. Say, God was with Jabez and helped to keep him safe. Today your task is to keep our little Jabezes safe. As he plays in the water, don’t let him drowned. As he builds his house don’t let any blocks fall on him. And if you take him to the doctor make sure is healthy. Let the kids take turns playing in the different areas of the classroom. While they play talk to the class about Jabez and ask how God has blessed him.
Tip: If the set up for this activity is too much for you, skip the set up completely and just let the kids take Jabez around the classroom and use whatever toys you have readily available.
Closing Prayer: Pray Like Jabez
You Say: How did everyone enjoy learning about Jabez today? Jabez had a very happy life. Does anyone remember why Jabez was blessed? (Jabez prayed for God to bless him and God answered his prayer.) That’s right! God blessed Jabez because Jabez believed in God and knew that He was the true leader of his life. If God can do this for Jabez, do you think He can do it for you? Yes! When you pray God listens to you. Let’s pray right now together and thank God for listening us. Encourage each student to say something that they can thank God for and something that they need to pray about.